HOW KRSNA PROTECTS
Regarding the attack In Manipur on Janmastami (refer September 2006 issue), aren't devotees of Krsna supposed to be protected from evil forces? If even after devoting myself to Krsna, my protection from evil and demonic forces is not guaranteed, then why worship Him?
If you assert something, please provide references from the Vedic scriptures.
(Ashish B. Rane)
Our Reply: Here are some considerations that should give you some insight:
Even great philosophers have difficulty understanding the plan of the Lord, as Bhisma mentioned to Yudhisthira (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.16). Krsna promises that His devotee will not be vanquished (Bhagavad-gita 9.31). His promise does not mean that the material body of His devotee will always be protected from death, but that the devotee's soul will not be degraded and will ultimately come to Him for eternal life in the spiritual world (Bg. 4.9, 18.55, 18.58).
In the scripture there are cases where Krsna protects His devotees' bodies from destruction. Lord Nrsimhadeva protected Prahlada Maharaja when agents of his father tried to kill him in at least five ways. Haridasa Thakura was also protected from being killed by the blows of the agents of a Muslim king in twenty-two marketplaces and even from suffering the pain of the blows. So for perfectly pure devotees, Krsna even protects their bodies in some cases. Were the devotees killed in Manipur as elevated as Prahlada Maharaja and Haridasa Thakura? Without offending them, I think it is safe to say that that is unlikely.
What is the destination of persons who die on Janmastami while celebrating Krsna's birth by watching a performance of His rasa-lila, dance? Krsna says that one who leaves his body remembering Krsna will attain Krsna (Bg. 8.5). Certainly such people would attain the spiritual world, which may not have happened if they died under other circumstances. Perhaps the people just had a little karma to be lived through before Krsna took them back.
If one becomes devoted to Lord Krsna, one gradually becomes free from all karma and attains the spiritual kingdom. Persons who delight in killing innocent persons do not make it there. Who else can promise you such shelter?
Events like this also teach us that the material world is a miserable place, as Krsna repeatedly mentions (Bg. 8.15, 9.33), and motivate us to try to get out of it.